Northside dog park?
Jackson Park neighborhood plan could include park and sidewalk upgrades, new trails and a bark park.
This Our Town Temple photo illustration shows a vacant lot on the north side of Nugent between 6th and 10th streets. According to Assistant City Manager Erin Smith, the area could become a centrally located dog park As you can see, the land is home to several beautiful trees and acres of opportunity.
By DAVID STONE , Our Town Temple
Although it’s still in the planning stage, a new Jackson Park neighborhood plan could bring improvements to one of Temple’s oldest parks, new sidewalks and trails throughout the district, and a bark park for Northside canines.
“Jackson Park has a lot of possibilities,” Assistant City Manager Erin Smith said this week. “It’s not designated as a historic district, but there are a lot of spectacular homes in the neighborhood. Some have some really unique features.”
Most of the homes in the neighborhood were built between 1930 and 1949, and most are in good condition.
“There are some architecturally significant structures in Jackson Park — we might want to create another historic district or recognize these homes in another way,” she said.
A survey of neighborhood residents showed strong feelings toward the old park, which is centrally located in the neighborhood.
“The residents love their big beautiful park,” Smith said, “but they would like to see some improvements. Several mentioned a splash pad and playground equipment for younger children.”
While the park has fairly new playground equipment, residents would like to see an additional play area for children under 5.
“They want a Tot Lot next to the existing playground,” Smith said. “A Tot Lot is designed for kids 2 to 5. While the older kids are playing at the big-kid playground, the younger ones would have a place of their own.”
Also on residents’ wish lists are improvements to the existing park’s restrooms. The facilities are there but are in need of a makeover, residents said.
Those taking the survey also expressed a desire for walking and bicycle trails in the Northside neighborhood. The neighborhood plan likely will include a trail linking Jackson Park to Wilson and Miller parks to the north.
“Miller Park is very popular — no matter when you go there people are fishing,” Smith said. “The proposed trail would take walkers through Hillcrest Cemetery to the other parks. The path through the cemetery would have decorative fencing, benches and other outdoor seating along the way.”
The plan also includes a recommendation for a trail along Knob Creek, providing additional access to the central park.
“Knob Creek would be like a pocket park with an area for benches,” Smith said.
A neighborhood dog park ranked high among needs described by residents, and Smith identified an area that would be within walking distance from several North Temple neighborhoods.
“There’s a vacant piece of land along Nugent from 6th Street to 10th that could be converted into a dog park,” she said. “There’s a good amount of space — enough for parking for those who didn’t want to walk. Jackson Park is a long way from other dog parks in Temple, and this location would be centrally located on the Northside. It would be close for residents of multiple neighborhoods — Jackson Park, the Historic District, the Garden District, East Downs, BellAire.”
A big issue for residents is improving walkability in Jackson Park. That means more and better sidewalks. Many of the existing sidewalks are in poor shape and in some areas, kids have to walk in the street.
“There are a lot of existing sidewalks in Jackson Park, but most are in poor or very poor condition,” Smith said. “We need to provide safe walking routes to schools and to the park.”
“There are places where kids have to walk in the street or on private property. We need improved sidewalks, including stretches that have a buffer between the sidewalk and the busy streets.”
Smith pointed out that 3rd Street is a main corridor for Temple’s Northside — including Jackson Park — and several businesses and schools are located on the busy thoroughfare, making it a prime area for pedestrian traffic.
“We can make 3rd Street safer for walking,” she said. “A lot of the businesses have really wide places to pull into or out of the parking lot. If we made the drives narrower we could make the area safer for walking without reducing accessibility to the businesses.”
Another busy entry into the Jackson Park neighborhood is North 8th Street. Smith envisions the use of “bump-outs” at intersections to slow traffic and make the area safer for pedestrians.
“I’m not a fan of speed humps or bumps,” she said. “Bump-outs can calm vehicular traffic, provide an area for landscaping and monuments for entering the neighborhood, and make pedestrian crossings safer.”
Bump-outs extend the curb into the street, making street crossings shorter and quicker for pedestrians. They also make the street narrower at intersections. A car making a left or right turn onto a street that has bump-outs must slow down considerably to make the turn.
“We still have work to do before we present the plan to residents and to City Council,” Smith said. “But Jackson Park is a neighborhood filled with opportunity.”
The cornerstone of the neighborhood is Jackson Park, with its unique bridges and large open spaces. Residents would like to see an expanded playground that would include a Tot Lot for toddlers, a splash pad and more walking and biking trails. Part of the existing playground is shown below. The existing playscapes are in excellent condition, but parents say they are not appropriate for children younger than 5. David Stone photo
Jackson Park residents said they would like to see sidewalk improvements in their neighborhoods, according to Assistant City Manager Erin Smith. Most sidewalks are in poor or very poor condition, and some streets don’t have sidewalks at all. David Stone photo
Burger sale to benefit TC athletics
The Temple College Alumni Association will host Leopard Fest — a lunch-hour hamburger sale — on Wednesday, April 27.
Tickets are $10 for a hamburger, chips, a drink and two chances to win prizes. Proceeds benefit Leopard athletic programs.
Lunches can be purchased from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 27 at the Danny Scott Sports Complex. Want a little baseball with your burger? TC hosts Weatherford College at noon.
Tickets may be purchased the day of the event or in advance starting today in the Foundation Room at the TC Administration Building, in Veteran’s Center Room 1451 at One College Center, in the Circle of Support at the Arnold Student Center and in the Testing Center (Room 3613) at the Instructional Service Center.
Prizes will include a $20 gift card to Blaze Pizza, a free one-hour massage at Myo Massage, movie passes to Cinemark and Grand Avenue theaters, and a free small item at Jeremiah’s Italian ice.
For more information about this event, contact Clarissa Martinez at (254) 298-8767 or email Temple College at Alumni@templejc.edu.
TC ART SHOW UNDER WAY
Hope Livesay, left, and Autumn Ruiz stand with their paintings on opening day of the Temple College Student Art Show. The show started yesterday and runs through May 6 in the Visual Arts Gallery. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The artist reception and awards will be at noon on April 21 in the Gallery. David Stone photo
WEDNESDAY | APRIL 13 , 2022
Submit your events
Is your business, church, school, organization or club having a bake sale? Or a battle of the bands? Or maybe a fishing tournament? Whatever the event, run it FREE in Our Town Temple, where it will be available to the public 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Photos are encouraged.
Send event information to OurTownTemple@gmail.com
TODAY’S BEST BET :
Corky's Comedy Open Mic nights are where up-and-coming comics, humorists or regular Joes can get 5-minutes to try our their set, work on jokes, or just try to see if they can make the crowd laugh. This is adult humor and intended for mature audiences, each comic or budding comedian is working to grow as a performer and it is through events like Open Mic that they get stage time and learn how to hone their craft. Many of our performers are touring comics already and come out to support Comedy in Temple or to refine a set but be prepared for some of the newest faces on the stage. Sign up at 7:30 p.m., show at 8.
Trivia Night at The Green Door.
To include your events in What’s Happening, email information to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Photos are welcome to for use in the publication as space permits!
When Temple was formed in 1881, lots were sold to trainloads of newcomers. What stands today on the first lot sold?
ANSWER AT END OF TODAY’S ISSUE
On this day in 1902, the first council of the Knights of Columbus in Texas was founded in El Paso. The Order of the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal and service organization of Catholic men, was founded in Connecticut in 1882. By 2002, the Texas State Council comprised 643 local councils. In the early 1920s the Texas State Council of the Knights of Columbus formed a historical commission to oversee the publication of a history of Catholicism in Texas from its beginnings under the Spanish flag. Documents collected for that purpose grew into the Catholic Archives of Texas at Austin. This and other collections were used for the writing of Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, by Carlos E. Castañeda.
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On this day in 1709, an expedition led by Franciscan fathers Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares and Isidro Félix de Espinosa reached the site of what is now the city of San Antonio and named the nearby springs San Pedro Springs. Olivares and Espinosa, escorted by Capt. Pedro de Aguirre and fourteen soldiers, had set out from San Juan Bautista on April 5, hoping to befriend the Tejas Indians on what is now the Colorado River. The expedition reached the Colorado on May 19, but discovered that the home of the Tejas was still three days' journey away. Because Aguirre's orders did not authorize them to proceed farther, and because they learned that the Tejas were not well disposed toward the Spanish, the expedition then returned to the Rio Grande.
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TODAY’S TEMPLE TRIVIA ANSWER: The first lot in the new city was believed to have been sold to JH Butcher of Galveston. Today, Gandy’s Barbershop and part of The Yard food truck plaza is located on that property.